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Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Featured Biz Question

I've been mulling over various small business ideas for the last few years now, and I'm at a point where I'm lost. Do you focus on what your marketable talents are, or do you focus on what is needed in your specific location? I live in a college town of about 80k and it seems like there is no end to the trendy stores that last 6 months and die. How can I capitalize on the large student population, yet not exclude the non-student population? Ideas are: Restaurant/Night Club.

Answer from our Guest Expert Kent Capener of Capener Consulting

Dear Idea Cafe Schmoozer,

Welcome to the wide world of small business, where the broad menu selection can be daunting. Cheer up, though, you're not really lost. You've remained simply immobile, watching and waiting, while others have moved on into business -- learning from mistakes and success alike. Plus, you've already selected a biz idea and that's a big first step.

What to Focus On First

As to your question about what to focus on, I heartily recommend you combine both your marketable talents with the needs of your specific location, if possible. But if that isn't in the cards, focus on your marketable talents, unless you can make money based solely on where you live. Chasing needs can create a mighty perplexing problem. Your town probably has many needs, I'm sure, but can you personally provide them? Stick to your main course; what you do best and what you enjoy.

As our Chef Emeritus Yogi Berra says, "If you don't like what you do - you won't enjoy it." Your idea of a restaurant has potential, if your marketable talents lie there. Local area restaurants survive based on quality, community and repeat business.

As to the nightclub, you have yet another tough decision to make. continued

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About the Expert

Kent Capener
Owner of Capener Consulting

Kent Capener

Kent is an expert on marketing; advertising; print, radio, and TV production; biz plan writing; trade show services; and direct response television. He relishes helping start-ups grow. more